If you have questions about events, call Lynn at (781) 608-7218.
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Tickets for concerts in Watertown (not house concerts or other events) can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com.
Here's a preview of next season:
|It's time to sign up for TradMaD Camp*, Saturday 25 August – Friday 31 August 2018, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA! Camp is sold out already but you can still put yourself on the waiting list.|
* FSSGB is a sponsoring organization
Here's what we presented earlier this season:
FSSGB is pleased to present "Bound for Glory", a Woody Guthrie Tribute show. This is a free concert performed outside under a tent, adjacent to the Old Manse in Concord, near North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It features a lot of FSSGB members, many of whom have performed in former Woody shows way back to the 60's, along with newer FSSGB members.
Norman Kennedy is an unaccompanied singer of traditional Scottish songs. He learned his songs naturally by growing up around some of the great Scottish singers of the last generation. He has a wide repertoire of songs learned directly from them without the facility of tapes and records. He learned them, not because he wanted to be a folk singer, but because even as a boy he was drawn to the music.
In concert, Norman draws only from that body of old songs. His concerts have a relaxed informality about them. He comes out on stage, takes a seat and seemingly starts a conversation with the audience. His dry sense of humor and memory of the stories surrounding the songs make his listeners appreciate not only the old songs, but the old ways as well. "You can tell stories, you can recite them, you can sing them," he says. Singing and recollecting are all part of the same cloth. With this directness he presents ballads -- stories of love won and lost, betrayal, death -- in a way that holds everyone's attention.
Norman shares what is enduring about traditional songs - their authenticity to life, the humorous turns of every-day events, the beauty of old melodies. As Norman explains it: "These songs are my roots; they're older and more important than I am." This unpretentiousness makes Norman's music as wonderful to the audience as it is important to him.
Richard Grainger is a prolific and diverse artist, performing on the British Folk Scene. Born in Middlesbrough, an industrial town on the North East coast of England, he was brought up in a musical family, and sang with them from a very young age. He now resides in Whitby, North Yorkshire. 30 years have elapsed since he made his first recording.
From his early days, Richard toured the north east folk clubs and was invited to join the popular Teesside Fettlers Folk Group in 1981. He followed in the footsteps of Vin Garbutt , and his 'mentor' Ron Angel. Richard's songs achieved wider recognition in the process.
In 1984 his first solo album was released by FELLSIDE. It received great reviews – some comparing him to the ‘incomparable’ Nic Jones and Martin Carthy. Before long, Richard was touring throughout the UK at folk clubs and major festivals and was regularly heard ‘live’ and on record on BBC’s Folk Show on Radio 2.
Known as a widely respected songwriter and guitarist with a clear and captivating vocal style, his songs are performed widely by artists including The Wilson Family, Flossie Malavialle, GU4, John Morris, Dick Miles, Monkeys Fist , KImbers Men, Derek Gifford and many more.
Richard Grainger writes songs with evocative and moving tunes and you feel that they are immersed in that part of the North east where he lives, the land of Moorland and Coast contrasted with heavily industrialised Teesside. Besides a large traditional repertoire including some original interpretations of songs such as 'Polly on the Shore' and 'Gatherin Rushes', Grainger also performs wonderful songs from his own pen.
Bob is a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother. He plays banjo and autoharp, sings and yodels, and can drive a dance band with his guitar and harmonica. Bob is well known and loved for his dry and witty stage humor.
Since 1971 Bob has traveled the country taking old time music to audiences of all ages at festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, music camps, radio and TV programs. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio.
Along with a repertoire including dance tunes, ballads, cowboy songs, humorous and sentimental numbers, blues and rags, he spices their shows with stories, history and folklore. Bob sings (yodels, too) and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and autoharp.
"No one handles old-time cowboy and humorous songs better than Bob. His vocals are hauntingly rough. His guitar and harmonica are as good as you will ever hear. Whether performing in concert, playing for a barn dance, or on a recording, Bob leaves you wanting more." Don Stevens, All Music Guide
Sunday, December 3, 2017, 2-5 pm
in the back room at Doyle's Cafe
3484 Washington St.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Sponsored by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
and The West Gallery Quire.
Come and sing Carols from the Sheffield, West Gallery, and Sacred Harp traditions (as well as some standard favorites), led by Bruce Randall of The West Gallery Quire.
With special guests, The Paper Bag Mummers, providing merriment and mayhem!
Suitable for all voices and melodic instruments. Music will be available.
Free! (but we will pass the hat for the waitress)
Contact Bruce Randall (email@example.com) for more information.
FSSGB is a sponsoring organization.
Inspiring concert performed by a diverse group of artists demonstrating the positive power of music to effect social change. For more information about the concert, including a full list of performers, see the PMN website.
NOTE: One concert ticket is included if you register for the full PMN Winter Gathering. Purchase tickets to this event only if you are not registering for the Winter Gathering, or if you want additional tickets for others.
Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.
Our hosts will be Ellen Schmidt and Paul Beck. They are talented performers who play out regularly, often accompanied by fellow FSSGB members.
FSSGB members (including new members!) are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.
Contact Lori Fassman at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up by January 17.
Proceeds from this show help keep the Society strong - we thank the performers and the audience for making this event possible.
Click here to hear some recordings done by our talented members!
Martha Burns sings old-time American folk songs the old-time way. Heart songs, cowboy songs, tragic ballads and comic ditties – songs from the mountains and songs from the range. Songs from the earliest period of recorded country music and songs never sung in a studio. Her haunting voice is perfectly suited to her old-time repertoire. An accomplished guitarist, Martha's accompaniments bring out the pith in a song. She has been singing and playing American folk music since Hoover was in the White House - well, almost - and has performed throughout North America and abroad.
About the workshop: True cowboys were singers. "Singing was company to us," a retired trail hand once explained, "just as it was to the cattle." In this workshop, Martha will share some of her favorites from the great body of songs that came out of the cowboy era – roughly 1865 to 1930. These are occupational songs, pre-dating the pop tunes of Hollywood's singing cowboys. Some chronicle the hardships of a months-long trail drive. Others extol the beauty of the Plains. You’ll hear how the songs came into being and learn where you can find them.
You can find out more about Martha on her website, www.marthaburns.net.
Three Sheets to the Wind is a chantey and sea music group out of Gloucester, MA. Weekly sings on Monday evenings are held at the Dog Bar Pub in Gloucester from 6 to 9 pm and have been ongoing for almost 14 years. The group has performed in venues such as The Gloucester’s Mayor’s Cup schooner races, Essex Music Festival, Mystic Sea Music Festival, Essex Shipbuilding Museum Basin Fest, Essex Clamfest, Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festivals, Lowell’s Boat Shop events, Salem Antique and Wooden Boat Shows, Press Room Shanty sings, Tall Ship’s Portsmouth, Charles Morgan Homecoming - New Bedford, USS Constitution Museum, L’Hermione vessel tour Boston, Rocky Neck Nights on the Neck, Gloucester Reads Literacy events, Gloucester Block Parties and Middle Street Walks, Rockport New Year's Eve, Gloucester Meeting House, Shirley - Eustis House, Marblehead Farmer’s Market, General Electric, Schooner Adventure, Old South Meeting House, 300th Anniversary of Boston Head Light, shipboard events, museum events, school events, nursing homes and assisted living centers as well as a few funerals, birthdays and weddings.
Many who participate have years of established song and sea history to offer as we roar up a storm of song and good cheer for our audiences. Good power vocals and terrific harmonies arise wherever we go….we also have a good time and enjoy what we do….as will be seen. Good cheer abounds. Audience participation is a must!!!! Come join us!
Judy Cook lifts the spirit and entertains with splendid traditional ballads and songs from a huge and varied Anglo-American repertoire. Her clear and engaging unaccompanied presentation combine with her joy of singing to delight all listeners.
Judy, who lives in Maryland, has been on the road since the early 1990s, making her own the songs and ballads of traditional Americana and the British Isles. She is respected on both sides of the Atlantic as both a singer and interpreter of traditional songs. Born in Virginia, the third of four children, Judy grew up with singing from both parents and a love for music - “We sang at the table, we sang washing dishes, we sang riding in the car, they sang lullabies to us.”
In the UK, Sara Grey introduced Judy to the folk community at the Whitby Festival in 1997. She has quickly come to be well-respected on both sides of the Atlantic as a singer and propagator of the old songs. Her joy in singing, deep respect for the tradition, and sense of humor delight her listeners.
Judy’s first recording of unaccompanied traditional songs and ballads, If You Sing Songs… was released in 1998, followed two years later by Far From the Lowlands.
"The Shanty Boy from the County Clare: A Concert of Irish Songs from the North American Northwoods" by Sara Grey and Brian Miller. In the mid-1800s, a distinct tradition of singing and playing dance tunes developed in the pine woods of New England and Atlantic Canada. Newly-arrived Irish immigrants supplemented summer work on farms and sailing ships with winters in logging camps where men sang and played fiddles to pass the evening hours in the bunkhouses. The rich repertoires of songs and tunes carried by these Irishmen had a defining influence on this new evolving musical style. Later, musical lumberjacks born into tight-knit communities in New Brunswick, Maine, New York State, Quebec and Ontario followed their jobs to the rivers and snowy forests of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota as the industry cut its way westward.
Sara Grey is an American singer, banjo player and song collector, who is immersed in the song traditions of both sides of the Atlantic. She now lives in Rockland, ME. Her passionate interest is to maintain and strengthen the links between Celtic and American culture. A featured performer of traditional song in the US and Britain for more than 40 years, Grey is a celebrated singer and player o f the five-string banjo. She has appeared on the BBC and performed at hundreds of venues and festivals in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and Australia. Equally at home with a gentle lyric or a harsh account of life on the frontier, she is also a fine storyteller specializing in stories from New England where she learned many from her father, many of which she passed on to Maine’s own celebrated storyteller, Kendall Morse.
Grey's rare and extraordinary trove of traditional songs were gleaned from a lifetime steeped in traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic. Now living in Maine, she grew up in New Hampshire but has lived in many parts of the U.S. and the U.K. As a child in North Carolina she first heard mountain music and her love for old time banjo music and songs was born. In a rich musical career now spanning four decades she has continued to study folklore, collecting and performing traditional tunes and songs from the various areas in which she has lived.
Brian Miller, born in Bemidji, MN is one of the most sought-after musicians in the North American Irish music scene. He has devoted much time to the research and revival of Irish-influenced music collected in the north woods regions of the US and Canada. Brian Miller joins Grey in reviving the Irish-influenced songs of men who roamed the Great Lakes region in the days "when pine was king." As a member of the acclaimed Irish traditional group Bua, Miller has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada. His love of his home state of Minnesota led him to the rich but under-explored musical traditions that were once shared by "woods" singers throughout North America's historic pine forests.
Miller also performs with his duo The Lost Forty. Their 2013 album "The Falling of the Pine" was a follow-up to Miller’s "Minnesota Lumberjack Songs." In 2016, Miller launched The Lost Forty Project to celebrate and make accessible long lost "old growth" songs found on a set of forgotten field recordings from his home state. The songs included ones about logging, railroading, deer hunting, and Great Lakes shipwrecks, as well as old Irish ballads and even older English ballads dating as far back as the 1680s.
Brian Peters is, according to the UK’s Living Tradition magazine "a top-notch singer and player, also one of the best-researched performers currently doing the rounds, and master of several crafts" while the US folk music magazine Dirty Linen described him as "one of the very best performers in the field of English traditional song and music".
Brian is a true all-rounder, on the one hand a passionate singer able to tackle big songs, and on the other a multi-instrumentalist acknowledged as one of England's leading exponents of the anglo concertina and melodeon (button accordion) and a skilled guitarist as well. Having begun his career in the folk clubs of England, he’s taken his music to stages all over the world, touring regularly in America, Europe and Australia, but always retaining a deep commitment to the musical traditions of his native country.
Brian is experienced as a teacher and workshop leader, having tutored classes on ballads and singing style at North American summer schools including Pinewoods, Augusta and Swannanoa, and many English folk festivals where he also leads regular workshop groups on concertina, melodeon and guitar. He's made numerous recordings, from the concertina-centred 'Anglophilia' to the ballad-themed 'Songs of Trial and Triumph' and (with Jeff Davis) 'Sharp's Appalachian Harvest', all of which have received a warm reception from reviewers. He's also the accordion player heard regularly on the TV cartoon Spongebob Squarepants...
A performance by Brian will always include some of the Child ballads that are closest to his heart, some great choruses to join in with, and a song or two from his recent project on Cecil Sharp's Appalachian collection. You can also expect some virtuoso squeezebox playing, from the old English tunes he has researched, to instrumental compositions of his own, and even a piece of ragtime if he's in the mood. There's always plenty of variety, leavened with Brian's uniquely quirky sense of humor.
Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
As they approach their 50th anniversary in 2018, the Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better...yet continue to do just that.
The Tannahills have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, "The Tannahill Weavers - properly harnessed - could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of last night's concert alone. The music may be old time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll."
American Songsters Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins sing old songs. Known as a "folksinger's folksinger", Hanks has been performing to delighted festival and club audiences (Fox Hollow, Mariposa, The Portable Folk Festival, The Old Town School of Folk Music, et al) for over 50 years. Now touring with his wife and musical partner, Larry’s mellifluous bass-baritone voice combines with the eclectic close harmonies of Deborah's resonant alto, bringing back to life a large repertoire of songs describing trials and traditions of American life. On the heels of their warmly-received 1st duo album, "No Hiding Place", and 2nd acclaimed duo CD chock full of "brand spankin' OLD" songs, "OLD DAYS", they proudly present their 3rd duo CD, "The Wheel of Time" --including grand familiar favorites, and many surprises in store. For the legendary San Francisco Bay Area favorite, Larry Hanks, this tour commemorates 50 years of live performance. "This is why I got into folk music to begin with!" gushes "One Man Folk Festival", Michael Cooney, [Hanks & Robins] "are the best live folk music performance in recent memory!"...Hanks & Robins are currently touring the U.S.
Dave and Anni joined forces in 1985, after spending many years around the folk club scene, in which time they featured on several albums made by other performers.
Although Dave and Anni perform substantially at home in the UK they also make at least one trip each year to the United States, where they have an established following and have also performed in Holland, Denmark and Finland.
Anni has developed a specialist repertoire of songs originating from her native North East, and Dave has been writing songs in traditional vein since 1982 many of these are widely sung and have become part of the general song repertoire of singers all over the world.